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Harvesting Techniques
Posted April 17, 2024, 9:48 am

Understanding the optimal timings for harvesting crops is important to improve plant health and optimize yield. Some crops should be fully harvested and replaced. Others can be partially harvested a number of times before replacing the seedling. Some crops like oregano are perennial crops and over time will develop a woody stem and can become a long term feature on your wall. If harvested sustainably, this can then provide fresh herbs on demand.

 

 

Lettuces (Romaine, Oak, Grand Rapid)

 

Lettuces are fast growing high turnover crops and should be ready to harvest from the Farm wall from only two weeks from when delivered to your home. Feel free to selectively harvest the odd leaf to garnish a sandwich or noodle dish if needed or simply harvest the entire crop and replace it with a new seedling. If you need to harvest an entire crop to make way for new seedlings, then store them in the fridge with the root system intact. Here are some examples of what they should look like when ready to eat!

 

 

Rocket, Sorrel and Frills Mizuna (Mustard)

 

Rocket, Sorrel and Mizuna can also reach maturity in just over two weeks and leaves can be selectively taken from this time to add flavour and depth to a salad dish and should not be left on the wall farm much longer than three. It is important to note that they will not reach the size of lettuces and should not be left on the Wall farm much longer than three weeks. After this, taste profiles can become stronger and undesirable.

 

 

Kale

 

Kale grows slower than lettuce and mustard crops, but can be harvested a number of times before replacing the plant. No sooner than 4 weeks from seedling delivery, Once the leaves get to a certain size (as per the picture), start trimming the larger leaves growing from the lowest part of the stem ensuring not to take more than a third of the foliage. Smaller leaves will grow through the top of the plant and will continue to provide harvests for many more weeks. Once the stem of the kale plant gets to a diameter of around 10mm, it’s time to start thinking about replacing the crop. Given the slower growth characteristics of kale, we recommend getting new seedlings onto your farm wall in good time to ensure a consistent supply.

 

 

 

Basil

 

The undisputed king of herbs, basil comes in a number of different varieties and they all grow very well on the Grobrix Farm Wall. The harvesting rules are simple. From 3 weeks, always cut above a leaf node and never take more than one third from the top of the plant. (Note this is the opposite method of harvesting Kale). If you harvest this way, the plant should develop good structure and branch out well for multiple bountiful harvests. When the crop starts to flower, it’s time to replace it with a new seedling.

 

 

Mint and Lemonbalm

 

Once these get going, they will grow quickly and will need to be cut back regularly to keep under control. There is no real technique here so any time after 3 weeks, snip away as you need. Try and be mindful about the growth blocking out light to other crops and never take more than a third of the crop at any given time.

 

 

Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary

 

Perennial herbs like this require a time investment on Grobrix. Patience is key! It can take a few months to get a Thyme plant to the stage that it can be regularly harvested, but then you should have ample supply going forward and will no longer have to rely on the supermarket for those clam shell single use plastic containers that you never manage to fully use. Once again, never take more than a third and always leave enough so that the crop can recover and grow back. After a while, these will develop a woody stem and can become a permanent feature to your farm wall. If you go away for 3 weeks, you can leave them on the wall and the reservoir should be sufficient to support them until you return.

 

 

Mathew Robert Howe
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